Valve Was Not Sure What To Do About Positive Review Bombing

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Valve Was Not Sure What To Do About Positive Review Bombing

A few weeks ago, after the unfortunate fire that hit the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Ubisoft decided to briefly give away copies of Assassin's Creed Unity due to how much that game featured the famed historical landmark as part of its French Revolution-era city. The free copies meant a huge influx of new players who were, emboldened by the publisher's generosity or the inclusion of the cathedral, motivated to provide hundreds of positive reviews for the game on Steam even if the game itself was not free on Steam.

But this introduced a problem for Valve, which had recently instituted a new method of combating review bombing for what they deemed as irrelevant reasons by not factoring anomalous reviews into the overall score. Theoretically, this is to stop things like review bombing Borderlands 2 because Borderlands 3 is going to be a timed Epic Game Store exclusive or reviews hitting a game hard because the audience does not like the developer. Under those rules, however, the positive reviews for Assassin's Creed Unity, which also had more to do with Ubisoft giving it away for historical significance reasons rather than the game itself, would need to be similarly dismissed.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch Very Soon

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Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch Very Soon

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has been available for nearly every platform imaginable since its launch in 2013, and now it's coming to Nintendo's latest console. Directed by Josef Fares, the action adventure title tells the story of two brothers going on an emotional fantasy journey. 

Exclusive to the Switch version of the game is a new co-op mode, where each player controls one brother with one Joy-Con. In all previous games, the player would control both brothers with each analog stick, an option that also returns for the Switch version. The game will also feature director commentary and a concept-art gallery, both of which were also present in the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

Brothers will run at 30 FPS, with a 720p resolution in handheld mode and 1080p resolution docked. The game has previously been available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS, Andriod, and PC.

Nintendo Pulls Animal Crossing And Fire Emblem Mobile Games From Belgium

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Nintendo Pulls Animal Crossing And Fire Emblem Mobile Games From Belgium

Belgium is in the midst of a war about loot boxes and their classification as gambling. On one side is, well, the government of Belgium, which classified loot boxes as illegal one year ago. On the other are the video games that use loot boxes, which have either changed things to avoid trouble or become a target before they changed anything. Now two more notches are added to the wall as Nintendo has just totally pulled two of their mobile games from the country.

Both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are not only being removed from the app store, but a message that appeared in both games today stated that they will go offline within a few months. Both games use a loot box model for monetization, though Animal Crossing only added that feature recently. In a statement provided by Nintendo and translated by Eurogamer, the company explained that it was specifically Belgium's new laws that forced this change.

Moreover, Nintendo says they do not plan to release any games with loot boxes in Belgium in the future. This does not mean these games will not exist, just that they do not plan to release them in Belgium.

George R.R. Martin Consulted On Japanese Game Rumored To Be From Software Title

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George R.R. Martin Consulted On Japanese Game Rumored To Be From Software Title

A Song of Ice And Fire author George R.R. Martin is working on a number of projects in various mediums, and a recent blog post from him mentions that he has "consulted on a video game out of Japan."

Gematsu and Wario64 have tied it to an older rumor that Martin is working with Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software on an open-world action title to be published by Bandai Namco and announced at Microsoft's E3 press conference next month.

Certainly a collaborative work between Martin and Miyazaki involving the latter's hardcore action gameplay would be a match made in video game heaven, and Gematsu's rumor states the game involves visiting various kingdoms to obtain abilities by killing their leaders.

Codemasters Announces New Entry In The Grid Racing Franchise

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Codemasters Announces New Entry In The Grid Racing Franchise

Codemasters has announced it is rebooting the Grid racing franchise, with a new title expected on September 13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This is the series' debut on this generation of consoles after starting out as story-based racer TOCA Race Driver in 2002.

The game's reveal trailer (which you can see over at IGN) highlights extensive car damage as well as a nighttime street circuit involving different types of cars/racing disciplines. The Grid franchise has always been about multi-discipline racing involving sponsorships and teammates (check out the review for the last one, Grid Autosport), and the reveal trailer suggests it is continuing on this course.

The race is on. GRID - coming September 2019.
Head over to IGN to watch the announcement trailer now ➡️ https://t.co/KfVAqUs1jj pic.twitter.com/2dGlb9Mstw

Investor Relations Sony Video Shows Difference Between PS4 And Next Generation Loading And Content Streaming

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Investor Relations Sony Video Shows Difference Between PS4 And Next Generation Loading And Content Streaming

While Sony has already confirmed the existence of their next-generation console through a Wired interview with Mark Cerny, but the article was obviously quite reliant on Cerny explaining features for the system rather than a formal presentation of what Sony wants their PlayStation 4 successor, presumably called the PlayStation 5, to do. Seemingly, we might have gotten our first look at what Sony expects from it, at least in terms of power compared to this generation, through a video of a presentation to investors.

The video was posted by Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal, who has a long history of insider information.

Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq

John Wick 4 Gets A Release Date Just After Third Movie's Theatrical Release

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John Wick 4 Gets A Release Date Just After Third Movie's Theatrical Release

Even though John Wick 3: Parabellum only recently came out in theaters, it doesn't seem that anyone is willing to rest on their laurels with the series quite yet. As fans of the movies are still filtering in and out of theaters to see their favorite action movie star do action movie things, it seems like the team is ready to announce a new sequel already. John Wick 4 will be released almost exactly two years from now on May 21, 2021.

The news came from a text message to fans and media who have seen the third movie, saying "You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming - May 21, 2021."

That's pretty straight and to the point. It also makes the recent announcements of a John Wick video game, titled John Wick Hex and developed by Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell, as well as John Wick's Fortnite appearance make a lot more sense. The game isn't scheduled to come out anytime in the next few weeks while the current movie remains in theaters, which means they hope to have the license's momentum to aid it down the line as well.

Marvel And NetEase Sign Deal For Future Collaboration

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Marvel And NetEase Sign Deal For Future Collaboration

Today, Marvel announced a deal for an extended collaboration with NetEase, the Chinese internet technology company. This deal allows Marvel and NetEase to pursue a number of new media opportunities for TV shows, comic books, and video games, which holds a lot more possibilities within that last option than the other two.

While it has long been known that NetEase has been looking for footholds into western media markets and Marvel similarly wants to get a deeper cultural foothold in China, NetEase's western investments make this deal somewhat curious. It is important to note that neither NetEase nor Marvel have detailed what their plans are for this collaboration with any specifics, but if NetEase were looking to expand this new license deal beyond the requisite mobile phone games, their eye might look toward their recent investments in Bungie and Quantic Dream.

NetEase dumped $100 million into Bungie at a crucial time for the company's future as their split from Activision on Destiny was already being considered, allowing them to pursue self-publishing for the title. To date, the two companies have not explained what the other plans to get out of it, but the former Halo developer would be a prime pick to develop a Marvel title.

Report: Sony Employees Were In The Dark About Microsoft Partnership

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Report: Sony Employees Were In The Dark About Microsoft Partnership

A few days ago, Sony and Microsoft broke bread over an announced partnership to pioneer new streaming technologies in the future using Microsoft's vast server bank and engineering initiatives. This collaboration is intended to be used to bolster both companies' game streaming technology in the future, which obviously is a major dream for two long-time rivals. It was apparently so secretive that many within Sony had said they had no idea about it until the press release went out.

According to Bloomberg, Sony employees who were working on the upcoming successor to the PlayStation 4 (presumably but not necessarily called the PlayStation 5) had to be assured that this out-of-left-field announcement was not changing their plans and work on the console. While Bloomberg confirmed with Sony that the talks for this partnership had been ongoing for a year, it seems not everyone knew that.

Cloud technology is being an increasingly important part of every platform holder's future plans, with Microsoft having made their intentions clear at last year's E3, Nintendo experimenting with streaming in Japan, and Sony having been at least partly on board since they acquired Gaikai ahead of this generation. Now it looks like everyone is eager to take it seriously, but it might be years if the people working on the new consoles aren't aware of its inevitability.

A Fan's Custom T-Shirt Design Will Appear In Pokémon Sword And Shield

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A Fan's Custom T-Shirt Design Will Appear In Pokémon Sword And Shield

The UT Grand Prix (UTGP) is an annual design competition where each year, a different theme is chosen, such as Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars. The theme this year was Pokémon, and 18,000 contestants from all around the world submitted their T-shirt designs, a new record for the UTGP. The winner, Li Wen Pei with his totem design of Gyrados and Magikarp, will see his design in-game with the upcoming titles Pokémon Sword and Shield.

This also seems to suggest that clothing customization options will return for Sword and Shield, although it was a safe assumption that they would. The T-shirt seems to be edited onto the Pokémon trainers as they appeared in the initial reveal trailer, so unfortunately no new screenshots or details of the games appeared.

Among the judges for the contest were Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and Ken Sugimori, the managing director of Game Freak.